Sibling of the Month - May 2018
Chris is using the legacy doll to learn about the port and how it works.
Chris is a 10 year old who is in the 5th grade.  He loves soccer.  His youngest brother, Matteo, is one.  He was diagnosed with cellular congenital mesoblastic nephroma (kidney cancer) in June 2017. Chris agreed to speak with us and share his family’s story to help other siblings.  And now…. Introducing Chris.  (Interviewed by Sibling Support Specialist, Jennifer Costa).
Can you tell us about your family?
I have three younger siblings, two brothers and one sister.  I have a Mom and a Dad, two cats, one dog, and three hermit crabs.
What is it like for you being the oldest sibling?
Sometimes I feel it can be boring.  It’s fun to be younger, and sometimes I have to help out with my siblings.
What was your reaction when you found out Matteo had cancer?
At first I thought it was fake, and then when I realized it wasn’t I tried not to think about it.  My Mom explained to me what cancer was, and I talk to you (Jenn) about it. 
When your brother is in the hospital, how does that affect you and your siblings?
When my parents are gone, my siblings don’t behave well because the family that stays with us doesn’t know all the rules.  It can be hard at times to have them away, but I try not to worry. Luckily it’s usually only a few days.
What has helped you during the process of Matteo’s treatment?
I have tried to keep my mind off what is going on. I play video games and soccer, which helps. I don’t worry as much about Matteo’s actual treatment, but just feel upset and angry that Matteo has cancer in the first place.   
What advice would you give other siblings?
Try not to worry too much. It helps to have someone to talk to and if you have good friends, that helps too.  

Sibling Stories

When Rhonda Ryan, Director of the Family Support Program at Friends of Karen, developed the Sibling Support Program over a decade ago, she had the foresight to enlist certified Child Life Specialists and Licensed Creative Arts Therapists to bring her vision to life as Sibling Support Specialists.

 In most families there is some sort of order (no...

Aryana is 11 years old. Her sister Aleyna is 9 years old. They are very close and only 20 months apart in...

In this season, light is all around us; gleaming holiday lights in the neighborhood, the glow of the...